Barclays Unicorn, the unit trust division of Barclays Asset
Management, has appointed Lansons Communications to handle its relations
with independent financial advisors. Unicorn has traditionally sold to
Barclays’ banking customers but doesn’t want to be fenced into this
route of selling.
Lansons, which had already undertaken some minor project work, won the
account last month without a pitch. The appointment marks an increase in
Unicorn’s PR activity as it attempts to improve on the two per cent of
products it sells through IFAs. Around 50 per cent of all unit trusts
are sold through IFAs.
Di Skidmore, head of PR and internal communications at Barclays Unicorn,
said: ’Traditionally our PR has concentrated on our retail banking
customers but Lansons have close links with the IFA press and an
understanding of the whole market.’
Barclays Unicorn has 550,000 account holders with pounds 6 billion under
Last February Unicorn was taken out of Barclays’ UK banking operation
into Asset Management and was given a dedicated in-house PR team.
Lansons managing partners Tony Langham and Clare Parsons have sold six
per cent of their share in the agency to account directors Ian Williams
and Shirley Hatherton and account manager Emma Chilvers. Langham and
Parsons now hold 75 per cent.